By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis pledged to transform ZNS from what was a “state propaganda machine under the last government” into a “properly functioning public broadcasting corporation” yesterday as he spoke at Government House during a swearing-in ceremony for parliamentary secretaries and government senators.
“In 1992, the Free National Movement freed the broadcast media from state control,” he said. “It is now time to liberate the state broadcast agency from political manipulation.”
Dr Minnis appointed Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, the MP-elect for West End and Bimini, as parliamentary secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for information and communications.
Dr Minnis also said that “in due course” he will appoint people to serve on various boards and councils of government corporations and organisations.
“I am especially excited to invite a new generation of young people to serve on government boards,” he said. “They will bring new energy, new ideas and a new perspective.”
His comments came as Carmichael MP-Elect Desmond Bannister was officially appointed minister of works.
Five parliamentary secretaries were also sworn in yesterday, including Vaughn Miller to the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development; Mrs Parker-Edgecombe to her post in the prime minister’s office; Carlton Bowleg to the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources; James Albury to the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Abaco and Travis Robinson to the Ministry of Tourism.
The nine FNM senators appointed were Katherine ‘Kay’ Forbes-Smith, who will serve as Senate president; Dr Mildred Hall-Watson, who will serve as vice-president; We March organiser Ranard Henfield; trade unionists Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson and Sharon Ferguson-Knowles; former FNM Torchbearers President Jamal Moss; FNM Treasurer Dwight Sawyer; Pastor Jasmin Turner-Dareius and former Fox Hill MP Juanianne Dorsett.
Last week, Attorney General Carl Bethel, Labour Minister Dion Foulkes and Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson were also appointed as FNM senators. Mr Bethel will serve as leader of government business in the Senate.
The Progressive Liberal Party also released its list of expected Senate appointees yesterday, with party Chairman Bradley Roberts saying former Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell, former Grand Bahama Minister Michael Darville, attorney Jobeth Colbey Davis and the PLP’s North Eleuthera candidate Clay Sweeting will be the party’s senators to be appointed today.